“The Connie Shake” is the first new single from Matthew Dear’s Jabberjaw alias in years, a teaser for his upcoming EP, The Garden of Eden.
‘The Connie Shake’ works in strange contrasts, juxtaposing elements that are both unsettling and powerfully addictive. The first thing you notice about “The Connie Shake” is its circular motion, its sense of weaving a spiral towards a magnetic center riding upon a bouncy, carousel-esque beat. Flocks of blippy micro-samples flit around like summer gnats; all is well. But throughout the track, a group of shouting onlookers egg on some sinister act, and a synth imitates a police siren. It begs the question: why, exactly, is Connie shaking?
The Murmur EP, the follow-up to The Sight Below ’s 2008 full-length Glider, is a bracing step forward for the reclusive Seattle-based artist, comprising two new songs and two remixes, several of which were recorded as collaborations with Slowdive’s Simon Scott.
Whereas Glider was the picture of consistency—a seamless suite of dreamy, gaseous guitar tones and subtle four-on-the-floor techno beats—The Sight Below uses the Murmur EP as an opportunity for expansion, turning up the contrast on his silky tones to expose an even more deeply textured sound with a powerful emotional effect.
Ghostly affiliate Moodgadget Records releases music by exclusively up-and-coming artists; with the Nocturnal Suite, Moodgadget not only “exposes the diversity in electronic music” (the label’s mission statement), it unites dazzlingly talented, like-minded artists working in wildly divergent stylistic fields into a grand, unified whole. Like its predecessors, the Moodgadget-curated Rorschach Suite and Synchronicity Suite, the Nocturnal Suite plays like a lovingly assembled mixtape, compiling brief, catchy, electronic-minded pop songs built for obsessive repeat listening.
Starting Tuesday, October 20th (tomorrow!) and running through Sunday, October 24th, the annual CMJ Music Marathon stuffs New York City with bands, fans, and more music-biz professionals than you can shake a stick at. (Shorthand: Like SXSW, but cold.) A whole bunch of our artists will be playing throughout the week—below, you’ll find a list of where they’ll be, and when. See you in NYC…
Choir of Young Believers
10.22 New York, NY @ Le Poisson Rouge (7pm)
10.22 New York, NY @ Piano’s (1am)
10.23 New York, NY @ Cutting Room Studios (KEXP Session)
10.24 New York, NY @ Living Room (3pm)
10.21 New York, NY @ Santos Party House (8:45pm Upstairs)
10.22 New York, NY @ The Cutting Room (KEXP Session)
10.22 New York, NY @ Cake Shop (1am)
10.24 New York, NY @ Piano’s (4:15pm)
10.21 Brooklyn, NY @ Treehouse, Littlefield
10.24 New York, NY @ Love
10.21 Brooklyn, NY @ Treehouse, Littlefield
School of Seven Bells
10.23 New York, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Choir of Young Believers’ debut, This Is for the White in Your Eyes, was released on August 18th. The following March, Choir-leader Jannis played a brief US tour as a duo with his cellist, Ceciele Trier (watch the resulting videos here and here).
Now, Jannis has assembled a full quartet to bring his dark pop to life, and will be playing ten days of North American dates in support of This Is for the White in Your Eyes.
Starting next week, the Choir will be playing in Canada, on the West Coast—including a session on KCRW’s influential Morning Becomes Eclectic—in the Midwest, and in New York City for the CMJ festival. Check out the dates here.
School of Seven Bells ’ debut is an electronically enhanced pop record of dizzying highs and claustrophobic lows, whose painstaking conception shows in its detail-laden crevices. On Alpinisms_ ’ best tracks, Benjamin Curtis constructs layers of shoegazing, moire-patterned guitars, while sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza intertwine their near-identical voices like the fingers of praying hands. Throughout, the whole heavenly affair is tethered to the ground with a glitchy, tribal thwomp.
Due to popular demand and the record’s near-universal acclaim, we’re re-releasing Alpinisms in collaboration with Vagrant Records. The digital-only Alpinisms (Deluxe Version) features nine bonus tracks including demo versions, alternate takes, and new mixes of songs from the album.
Lee Curtiss and Spectral Sound have been running in the same pack for years—finally, after sufficiently circling each other and sniffing each others’ business, Spectral and Lee have joined forces to release the Detroit producer’s Black Door EP, and it’s a doozy. Curtiss traffics in airtight, undeniable dance tracks with a trickster’s sense of experimentation—The Black Door EP is all that and more, a beguiling 12” whose charms multiply with each listen.
In this video introduction to Spectral Sound artist Bodycode, filmmaker Shai Levy follows Alan Abrahams (aka Bodycode) as he prepares for a live set in Berlin. As the camera looks on, Abrahams gathers his gear and drives through the colorful streets of Berlin; all the while, the producer ruminates on his love of his native sounds and the changing nature of electronic music. Look closely and you’ll see labelmates Matthew Dear and Ryan Elliott.
In ancient Greek, “Hecatomb” is the word for “large-scale sacrifice or slaughter”; in Audion’s universe, it’s a live audio/visual experience like no other. Hecatomb is a dazzling and gorgeous assault of light that spins and twists into the ether. Musically, it’s the new live Audion—a relentless percussive onslaught that will leave you breathless. A whirlwind of light and sound, Hecatomb was created by longtime Audion art director Will Calcutt and renowned artist Eno Henze.
Audion spent the summer bringing Hecatomb to a series of European clubs and festivals—now, he’s trucking the whole light-and-sound spectacle to North America. Check out the dates here, and take a peek at the new AUDION.ME for photos, video, news, and other Audion goodies.
Syntaks ’ Mistral Moon EP is a free taste of the Danish duo’s upcoming full-length Ylajali, comprising two tracks of densely layered ambient pop. Syntaks’ songs are textural epics in miniature, meticulously detailed shoegaze symphonies built from Anna Cecilia’s wordless vocalizations and Jakob Skott’s breathtaking production. Download the Mistral Moon EP for free now.
Loscil ’s ambient compositions exist between worlds. Both electronic and naturalistic, drone-based and melodic, rhythmic and adrift, the Vancouver producer’s three-track Strathcona Variations is both placid and filled with dread, a suite of gentle, barely-there compositions whose odd, surreal beauty can’t be underestimated. Download Loscil’s Strathcona Variations now.
We’ve known Lee Curtiss for too long—too long to not have released any of his music, at least. Now, with Lee’s Black Door EP (coming October 13th on Spectral Sound), we’re consummating our friendship with the affable Wolf + Lamb affiliate in a suite of the Detroit producer’s funky, eccentric techno. Having recently dropped the wicked ‘Smoking Mirrors’ single (download it from Beatport here), Lee is currently on tour in Europe. We corralled Lee for a moment to ask him Five Questions, and here’s what he said…
1. In exactly 13 words, how would you describe your music to someone who had never heard it before?
If you don’t tell your parents, we can make it last all night.
2. What is this “Black Door,” anyway?
It deals with the concepts behind choices in life, the right way, the wrong way… taking the road less traveled or the straying off the beaten path. For behind the black door lies a land of pain, pleasure, and wonderment—at least I think it does…
3. What are you doing at this exact moment, and what will you be doing one month from now?
Right now I’m in London, working my way through The Wire box set my lovin’ lady got me for my birthday, and getting music together for the pop and yacht rock set I have to play after my DJ set in Dublin next weekend. Both labors of love.
A month from now, I’ll be hunkered down in Detroit in between tour dates, feverishly working in the studio with a couple of new pieces of gear, desperately trying to beat that ever-looming time line to complete the projects I have to finish.
4. What’s the one record you can’t live without, and why?
I’m tempted to give you an artsy answer for this one, but I have to lay it straight out there. Prince’s Purple Rain album has always been my handbook and source of inspiration when I’m out of ideas or trying to write hooks.
5. How about a piece of sage advice for the younger generation?
Work hard, stay in school, drink your milk, don’t do drugs.
Syntaks’ music evokes an infinitely expanding landscape of papery beats, sighing voices, and hills of sublime noise. Copenhagen, Denmark-based Jakob Skott has been making music as Syntaks for years, releasing a handful of solo albums, and collaborating with friends on outside projects. In April of 2006, Skott began making music with Anna Cecilia, first adding her vocals to a track on his 2006 album Awakes, and eventually integrating her as a full-time partner. With the addition of Cecilia, a new era of Syntaks was born, fusing Skott’s densely textured production with Cecilia’s airy, wordless soprano and intuitive songwriting.
In Syntaks’ world, dreams and reality blur into a melodic haze, and nothing is as it seems. The duo’s debut Ghostly full-length, Ylajali, arrives on November 3rd.